The Hemingway Thief
In The Hemingway Thief, Henry “Coop” Cooper is enjoying a case of writer’s block in Baja, though it’s not so much “enjoying” as “suffering a mid-career existential crisis and threatening to kill off his successful pseudonym so he can stop penning ridiculous romance novels that sell like crazy and write what he likes,” when the hotel owner gets involved with saving a book thief from the Mexican cartel and Coop tags along to get the story. Things go from bad to worse as they realize the treasure they have in a first draft of Ernest Hemingway’s famous “A Moveable Feast,” involving hit men (and women), Mexican drug lords, rare book dealers, and a family of grifters. If Coop survives, this will be the story of a lifetime.
This first novel by Shaun Harris is part crime fiction, part noir mystery and darkly funny. While it’s a serious novel, this book is also a lot of fun. The prose is punchy and if the characters tend toward the formulaic, it fits the overall vibe of the story. It strikes a graceful balance of being an homage to gritty crime fiction, but also a book about loving books, with a healthy satiric bent.
Seventh Street Books